Back to Reality

I knew our vacation was over when my husband and I dragged ourselves out of bed at 5:45 a.m. and hit the pavement to resume our early morning walk routine. We have been on vacation with our three children, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, and our two granddaughters. As you probably realized if you are a regular reader, I took a little blogging holiday, too.

We had a few days here in Virginia Beach with our daughter and her family who drove down from Michigan. They love coming to the beach. Unfortunately, it rained every day they were here. Then we all drove up to Washington, D.C. and met the Boston kids  after first stopping at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home and final resting place, on our way. We had booked hotel rooms for the nine of us several months ago. With everyone living so far from each other, we make it a point to get us all together once a year. I hope there will never be a year that goes by that we can’t make that happen.

The dome in the Capitol

The dome in the Capitol

This past week was typical Washington, D.C. summer weather: hot and humid. We walked all over from morning to evening, starting out fresh and perky and ending up dripping and worn by the end of the day, but we loved every minute of the city and being together. One of the wonderful things about D.C. is that all the Smithsonian museums are free and fabulous. I heartily recommend taking a family vacation there. Though the summer can be uncomfortable, you spend so much time in air-conditioned museums, it makes it bearable. Plus the bonus is that you can eat and eat and eat and never gain a pound because of all the walking and sweating you do!

imageOne of the highlights of the trip was sitting at the base of the Washington Monument to watch the fireworks. Can there be a better place to be on the 4th? The scaffolding you see around the Monument is because of the needed repair due to earthquake damage. There was an incredible amount of people on the lawn, but everyone was friendly and polite and well-behaved. It felt like we were all just small-town people gathered in the town square to watch our local fireworks. After all, Washington DC is our town. The show was one of the best fireworks displays I’ve ever seen.


Inside the Library of Congress. Click to enlarge.

Inside the Library of Congress. Click to enlarge.

On Saturday, the Michigan kids drove home and my husband and I had an extra day and a half with the Boston kids. We went to the Library of Congress for the first time, and my husband and I both got library cards there. How cool is that to have a Library of Congress reader’s card! The inside of the building is gorgeous. Definitely worth a look, even if you don’t want to take the time to be as cool as we are and get your own library card.

Now all the children and grandchildren are back to their routines as we are. It’s a little difficult to get back to reality after such a wonderful week, but I will savor the memories for a long time.

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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28 Responses to Back to Reality

  1. Robin says:

    Sounds like such a wonderful trip. I love that last photo. You have a beautiful family. 🙂 I’m liking that artsy fireworks shot, too. Would love to see that blown up and hanging on a wall somewhere.
    D.C. is one of my favorite cities to visit. I’m a little jealous about that library card. I’ll have to get there someday and get one of my own.

    • Coming East says:

      Now that you live in Maryland, you might get there before you know it? You could take 50 and go across the Chesapeake and into Annapolis and then into D.C. That is such a scenic route.

  2. Al says:

    Glad you had a great trip and love the family picture. I can see why you plan this every year. Sorry about the rain, we were dodging the drops ourselves around here.

    P.S. The birthday wine from Williamsburg was delicious!

    • Coming East says:

      Wish the weather had been better so we could have gotten the girls together. But it was rather a madhouse around here because we had the Chester crowd on top of the Wilson bunch.

  3. As you come back to your own reality, what blessings do you bring in?

    Lovely family photograph and I remain sure, you would make it the pride of your mantle-place.


    • Coming East says:

      Thank you, Shakti. I do need to print that picture out and frame it. I love the beginning of your comment where you asked what blessings I being to my reality. It really is about our attitude and what we make of our days, isn’t it? Thank you for that thought.

  4. Jiawei says:

    Funny you mentioned the D.C. weather being hot and humid. Shanghai is literally like an oven right now, 100 degrees with 70% humidity, very uncomfortable.
    Glad you had a great time with your lovely family!

  5. Looks like you all had a wonderful time. Fireworks at the monument, please it doesn’t get better. I love DC and all the amazing architecture. My favorite museum of ALL time is the Newseum. I bore easily over historical facts…snooze, but the Newseum grabbed my attention for 4 solid hours. Hope you got to check it out!

  6. Amy says:

    Beautiful family, Susan! Stunning firework photo! I haven’t been DC for ages, maybe next year.

  7. pattisj says:

    I didn’t know one could get a library card for the Library of Congress. How cool! That is a great family photo, and I applaud your tradition of seeing everyone together annually. You may have had to come back to reality, but at least reality includes a beach. 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      And this is good beach weather, Patti. Very hot and humid, but I think a storm may be coming. The library card you get for the Library of Congress is a reader’s card because you can’t actually take anything out.

  8. notquiteold says:

    I haven’t been to D.C. in years. I need to get back there!

  9. Dianna says:

    Oh, that’s so nice that all of you get together each year! Too bad it rained when your children were in town….
    And I think it was very cool that you watched the fireworks in D.C. AND that you have your very own Library of Congress reader’s card!

    • Coming East says:

      We had a good time even with the rain, Dianna, but I know the kids were a little disappointed that they couldn’t do anything outside, like miniature golf or the go-carts.

  10. Glad you all had that chance to get together and to enjoy DC ~ one of my favorite cities for exploring as well. You are right, summer on “the mall” is a bear! We still laugh about the week I took a photojournalism workshop at the Smithsonian. I was dripping wet by noon every day while out shooting my assignment. One day I was wearing green socks. I took the Metro back to my brother’s in MD, took my sneakers off only to find that my socks had sun bleached white and left the feet green!

    • Coming East says:

      Funny story about your socks, Carol. Now that I’m back in Virginia Beach, I’m realizing the weather is no different from D.C. It’s just as hot and humid. Fortunately, though, I’m staying in, for the most part.

  11. smile breathe and go slowly says:

    a lovely family!

  12. dorannrule says:

    What a beautiful family! And what a grand time you all had. Your account of your vacation and wandering around DC makes me appreciate that area even more. We lived in the suburbs and worked in the city for many years and when being there began to take the museums, Mt. Vernon, and all those wondrous places for granted. Welcome back Susan! 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      Funny how living in an area for awhile makes you take it for granted, Dor. I think it will be a long while before we take Virginia Beach for granted. Being near the ocean will always feel wonderful. And I think DC will be our place to get away for long weekends. So much more I want to explore. I’d like to attend a Sunday service at the cathedral.

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